23rd December 2012 – 4th Sunday of Advent

Lighting the 4th Candle of Wreath 
Lord God, let your blessing come upon us as we light the 4th candle  of our Advent wreath. May the wreath and its light be a sign of Christ’s promise  to bring us salvation. Advent is a time for reconciliation.  Jesus comes to us and gives us His peace and joy when we receive his forgiveness and mercy. We ask his help, guidance and forgiveness as we prepare for our Christmas Confession.  Amen

The fourth Sunday of Advent leads us into the very Eve of Christmas this year. This serves to bring home to us how the wonder of Christmas and Advent fuse in a lovely way. The gentleness of the visible coming of our God into our history and into our humanity invites us to reflect on this profound mystery of our faith. Not only do we recall that first coming of our Saviour in a nature like ours. We also look forward to the coming of this loving God at the end of life. The one who drew near to us in the lowliness of Bethlehem did so to allay our fears and reservations of approaching him in simplicity and confidence at life’s end. Jesus also waits for us to invite him to come to us in daily life. We shall, if we wish, find him in our work and in our shared relationships. We shall find him in his gift of forgiveness if we wish to receive his love and forgiveness this weekend in confession. We are all in need of his love.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation:  This weekend after all masses there will be an opportunity for confession and a number of visiting priests will be with us. Confession is one of the great gifts of the Church. To get the most from this sacrament it is essential to prepare well. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is above all an act of God’s love; it is a personal moment in a relationship of love with God. It is not a routine to be gone through but very much part of the personal renewal that takes place in each person, especially at Christmas.
We are invited in the light of God’s love:
•    to recognise sinfulness in our life
•    to have a true sorrow for our sins
•    a firm intention to avoid them in the future
These elements are essential to a proper and meaningful celebration of the Sacrament.
Every sin ought to arouse in us feelings of humble regret and a confident request for pardon.
God our Father forgives our sins and sends us his peace. We ask him to help us to forgive each other and to work together to bring the peace of Christmas to our families, our community and to our world.

Christmas Masses:
Christmas Eve:. 24th Dec.: 6 pm (the O’Connor /O’Mahony Families will lead us in the singing of carols).   10 pm:  (Parish Choir).
Christmas Day:  9 am, 10am Children’s Mass (Parish Choir), 12 noon (the O’Sullivan Family will lead us in the singing of carols)
Note extra Mass at 9 am.

Confessions: Christmas Eve after 10am Mass and 11.30am to noon.

St. Vincent de Paul Society:  Wish to thank all who support the Society during the year and especially those who contributed so generously to their Christmas Collection of €4,002 and for the many gifts that were brought  to the Santa Tree and are being distributed to those in need. Many thanks and a very peaceful and happy Christmas.

Christmas Triduum 
The Triduum Masses will be offered be offered on 23rd, 24th & 25th Dec.  Cards available at Parish Office

Support of the Priests of the Parish
The collection on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day is for the support of the priests of the Parish. There will be only one collection at each Mass. 

Christmas gifts with a difference.
There is still time to get a gift with a difference.   You can purchase one of the Trócaire Gifts and get the card to give to a friend. They are available at the back of the Church from members of the Parish Assembly.  This Christmas change someone’s world for the better with a Trócaire Gift.

Thank You: our thanks to all who handed in plants to decorate the Sanctuary for Christmas

Examination of conscience
A good way of preparing for confession is to divide your life into a few general areas, and take a look at each.

1. My relationship with God:
Do I give time to God?
Do I pray each day?
Do I attend Mass at weekends?
2. My home life:
Am I hard to live with?
Do I make my home happy?
Am I moody and selfish?
Do I cause serious problems in my home – unfaithfulness,
drunkenness, taking of drugs, violence, long cold silences?
Do I seek help?
3.  My relationship with others
Am I tolerant of and unselfish towards others?
Do I respect others? Have I used others selfishly or irresponsibly?
Am I kind, in word and deed?
Do I pray for my enemies and forgive them?
4. My practice of justice:
Do I respect the needs, rights, and property of others?
Am I honest in my business dealings?
Do I pay my debts?
Do I cheat, or make false claims?
Do I pay my taxes?

Act of Contrition
O my God I thank you for loving me. I am sorry for all my sins, for not loving others and not loving you. Help me to live like Jesus, and not to sin again.  Amen.